Saturday, November 18, 2017

Time keeps on slipping...

 ...into the future.  Sorry, I use to love the Steve Miller Band!  Even if I'm not quite ready to admit that fall is over, and the holiday season is about to begin, the truth is unavoidable. Thanksgiving break has arrived and we are heading off tomorrow for a double college visit to Texas Tech.  This visit, both Bailey and Savannah are checking out the campus and all Lubbock has to offer.  Again, I find myself in total awe that I have not one, but nearly two children ready for college.  Time...seriously, KNOCK IT OFF!

We wrapped up October with Halloween festivities.

We started off our November with another Boyen birthday.  Jonas turned 12...too bad he is the size of a grown man!

I took the afternoon off and snuck him out of school for a special lunch date to The Cheesecake Factory.

We love our Sunday mornings together.  Everyone else likes to sleep in.  Lorelei and I get up around 8:00, watch CBS Sunday morning, meal plan and make our grocery list.

Bailey had a big event this week, he was inducted into the National Honor Society.  He was actually invited as Junior, but declined without even telling me.  This year when the invite luckily came around again, he filled out the application and was selected.  We are proud of him.

We have had lots of school events:two wonderful choir performances, the vocabulary hat parade and a field trip!

Walmart had a sign up today...37 days till Christmas.  I really just want to savor these last few days of fall. I'm just not ready for Christmas decorations, present buying, and all the crazy that sometimes comes with the holidays.  I wish we had a month between November and December, just like I'd love a day between Saturday and Sunday.  

I would truly love the gift of more time...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Done with one...

We did it!  John and I have officially raised one child to adulthood.  Done with one...Okay, you know I'm not serious, right?  We are never really done parenting, ask my mom!  But I still feel a sense of accomplishment.  Bailey is an "adult" according to law. He turned 18 years old this past Tuesday.  Seems a bit surreal.  We all can remember the little bright eyed, blond baby and toddler like it was yesterday.  It seems like the years in between are a total blur.  Somehow, it's like magic, suddenly he's a young man, 5'10, articulate, intelligent, talented, and on his way out the door to college.  He was also accepted into National Honor Society this week, something his dad and I never accomplished (even though I had good grades in high school, I never had THOSE kinds of grades!).  He's got interesting opinions on life, that are usually the total opposite of mine, but I think that's the way it is suppose to be!  We couldn't love him more, or be prouder of the adult he has become.  Of course, I realize there is a lot more parenting left to do, a lot more advice, comfort, and love.  I am excited for his future.

October 24...the big day!

Lorelei made him Reece's cupcakes.

Dinner at his favorite sushi place.

His letter from O'Connor came at the perfect time.

There's been some fall fun for all of us this month.

We visited Bailey on the job at St. Brigid's Fall Festival.  Too bad is was still so hot.

Savannah had her Fall concert.  Sweet Luke brought her roses.

Lorelei and I had some fun at our school fundraiser...the APEX Fun Run.

Jonas had his very first concert...or as Garcia calls it, a "Hauntcert!".

Lorelei had been wanting to visit the Halloween Super Store.  Silly girls.

 Lorelei and I went to the South Texas Corn Maze with Girl Scouts.  Lorelei had a great time.

She loves doing things for other, particularly baking.  She made all of us Rice Krispie treats with a note.

Savannah thought she was still taller than Jonas (who is only 11!), and told her I could prove that she wasn't with one simple picture!  We were shopping at Academy for Bailey's birthday presents.

Finally...fall weather arrived this week.  Cold enough to use the fireplace.

Tonight we are off to my sister's for the annual Halloween Trick or treating hayride.  Halloween is Tuesday and Jonas turns 12 on Thursday!  I'm looking forward to the rest of the fall festivities.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A new season...

It's October, fall has begun and each year, at this time, I reflect a bit on where we are as a family. I think it's because Bailey's birthday is in October (he's turning 18!!!!) and that's the day John and I went from a couple, to family. I look back at those times and think how much simpler it was to have babies and little ones, in some ways. When you are in the throws of raising babies and toddlers, you think nothing can be more difficult. The teen years arrive and you wish for the tantrums in the grocery store, over the tears of a broken hearted teen. Instead of deciding on which preschool or Kid's Day out program, we are deciding on which university will offer the best scholarship. And so the saying "Bigger kids, bigger problems." returns again and again to my head.

Each of these seasons in life brings about new joy and new worries. I wonder with amazement that my oldest child becomes an "adult", 18 years old in just over two weeks. He's grown into a young man before my eyes. Savannah is driving with a permit, has a boyfriend and is continuously drowning in her pre-AP and AP classes, constantly worrying about her perfect straight A's. Jonas is growing by leaps and bounds...5'6 already. Talk about changing before my eyes, he was just a little boy and now I look up to him. I am lucky there's always little girl, still tiny and sweet. But I realize, her time is fast approaching, where she too will be a teen before I know it. 

John and I joined an Anytime Fitness in July...definitely a new experience for us. We finally take some time for each other and our health! We really enjoy the time together. I love their inspirational chalkboard messages like this one:

Another college reception for Bailey. Texas Tech impressed him enough to plan a campus visit in November.

The fall season means the return of Soup Sunday!! I love the simplicity of making a hearty, warm soup on Sunday nights. This is loaded potato soup, a family favorite.

Homecoming was early if you ask me...but these two cuties had a wonderful time.

I may still this little one is my baby, but she sure has been working hard in 5th grade. She was writing a fantasy fiction story here. She's an excellent writer, which as you can guess, makes this momma very proud.

This guy eats, sleeps and goes to school. He's cheesy, funny and smart as ever. I have to beg him for photos these days...

This new season is all about my favorite FAMILY! 

Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September...Back to school

Solar eclipses, convocation, teacher work days, school supplies, Hurricane Harvey, first days, new school, gas shortages, Labor day, another hurricane...Yikes!

It's truly been a whirl wind around here, (no pun intended with the hurricanes)!  As I am sure you have heard it before...there's no tired, like a teacher tired, at the beginning of the new school year. The non-stop work, as both a teacher and a mom with 4 kiddos, that back to school time entails, is exhausting...emotionally and physically. Like with other September posts, I always remark that August goes by in such a blur, September hits you like a brick wall, making you wonder how you got here.

It's been a true month of adjustments around here.  Some of us have had a better start than others. Bailey and Savannah are off to another great start at O'Connor High School.  Bailey's thrilled as a senior to only have half days, thanks to working so hard academically over the years.  He's taking all but one AP courses, so it's almost more like a freshman semester in college for him.  He took the ACT yesterday and takes a 2nd try at the SAT next week (although his first score of a 1240 is not to shabby!).  College offers and interest are constantly coming in, but Alabama remains his first choice. Savannah is taking her very first AP course this year and is loving it so far.  She's a little firecracker with school.  She works hard and loves every minute of it.

Jonas started middle school at Garcia, but is not quite loving it yet.  Actually, it's been a pretty harsh start for him.  Breaks my heart a has always been his thing.  I just hope he can find a way to love it again.  Because Garcia is our home campus, there aren't any kids he really knows in his classes.  Carson kids go to two other middle schools.  It's starting from scratch for him.  He's happy to have made a few friends in each class already, but he's surprised by the fact that he misses me so much.  This is his first year not on the same campus as me in 7 years!!  He told me he took me for granted!

Lorelei and I are finally settling into 5th grade at Carson.  We have some serious growing pains to start our year!  On the first day of school I had 29 students!  By Thursday we were told, relief was coming, as we were adding another 5th grade class.  I was thrilled to find out a great co-worker and friend was moving up from 1st grade to fill the spot.  Last week was our first week with the 5 of us!

Attempting photos of the eclipse!

Convocation sets an exciting tone for back to school!  Very inspiring!

Teachers really do run on coffee!

First day of school...6th grade!

Mr. Kline is happy to have another Boyen! I think...😉
5th grade...
 First day for my student teacher and me!

 My 10th grader...

I didn't see Bailey till bedtime...but here he is...A senior!

Labor day allowed us to sneak in one last pool day!

A little taste of fall weather last night at the Family Game night in Old Town Helotes!

I'm feeling like things are settling in for us, so we can start to enjoy the month of September.  We've had a nice bit of cooler weather, giving us a taste of what fall will bring.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bama Bound...

About a month ago, I scheduled a campus tour for the University of Alabama for Bailey. At the time, I had no idea who was going to go, where we were going to stay, or how we would even afford the extra expense, so close to the start of back-to-school. What I did know, was that it had to happen. I couldn't let Bailey apply for an out-of-state university, without him seeing it with his own eyes. I stressed for days, maybe even weeks and spent hours on websites like Booking and Priceline, trying to find the perfect deal and place. I looked at the GulfShores, quaint towns like Natchez, even NOLA, trying to make this a real adventure. But everything was beginning to blur and I just couldn't decide. With some help from an angel (Savannah's boyfriend's mom!), she booked us into an amazing Embassy Suites in Tuscaloosa.  The perfect size for our family and price. Now there were some extra glitches to deal with...both Savannah and John got sick.  But what troopers! They took their antibiotics, and Ibuprofen and hit the road with us. We like to leave at night, so 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 6th, we started our journey, Bama bound!

A quick morning drive through NOLA.

Bourbon Street...

Getting closer!

Embassy Suites in Tuscaloosa was beautiful!

Tired...but ready to explore the hotel!

First place they want to head is the pool, of course!

Evening snacks are, food and fun!

Jonas loves to play with his food!

Super comfy beds!

And a great view!

We started Monday exploring near the stadium.  This cemetery had pre-civil war stones!  It was so interesting to read and see.

The tour began... and we actually had a break in the rain!  Perfect timing for our walking tour.

I cannot tell you how charming and picture perfect the University of Alabama's campus is...makes me want to go back to college!  We all fell in love with the place! The antebellum architecture made it feel like you stepped back in time.

Lorelei may be saying "Roll Tide" in her future.  Especially after she heard they have a top notch gymnastics team.

Back to the hotel to relax!

On the drive back home, we stopped by our second campus visit, Texas A & M. It was a beautiful, vast and modern looking campus.  Completely different world from UA.

The old Nike saying, "Just Do It", proves that sometimes, you just have to go for it! All the pre-trip stress, anxiety, decisions, discussions and even illness, we overcame and ended up with us just going for it! I will forever have warm memories of this trip. And if Bailey's choice for school next year is University of Alabama...I'll know it's a good one.

This Florida Gator girl will say something I never thought I would..."Roll Tide!"